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HomeSearchGetRecordHumphrey Searle Collection (1959-86)

Collection Description

Collection Title
Humphrey Searle Collection (1959-86)
Unique Identifier
Add. 71833
A collection of handbills and programmes for concerts including music by English composer Humphrey Searle (1915-82), given at various venues in the United Kingdom, Europe and America between 1959 and 1986, arranged in a largely chronological fashion as the second of three volumes of concert programmes within the Humphrey Searle collection.

This volume also includes a programme for a Concert of Contemporary Music given on 4 August 1977 at the Howard College Theatre of the University of Natal, Durban and undated programmes/fragments for the performances of Searle's works Fugue for Orchestra (first performance, with descriptive and biographical notes) and The Baby and the Battleship.

The concert in Natal featured 'several compositions by the Music Department’s Lecturer in Composition, Dr Gerald La Pierre, who will also conduct some of the works involving members of the National Symphony Orchestra and the disbanded Durban Symphony Orchestra'. The programme includes brief historical and descriptive notes and provides a list of the instrumentalists.

Items are listed here alphabetically by venue and divided as follows:
1. London venues
2. Other venues in the United Kingdom
3. European venues
4. American venues
5. Unknown venues

1. London venues
- Aeolian Hall
17 April [no year]: London String Orchestra with Robert Irving (piano), conducted by Humphrey Searle, including: Searle, Scherzo malinconico (first performance); Webern, Five Movements for String Orchestra, op. 5 (first English performance); and Bernard van Dieren, Adagio cantando from Quartet No. 5 (first orchestral performance) (with brief historical and descriptive notes).

- Jeannetta Cochrane Theatre, Southampton Row
12, 14 and 16 June 1967: New Circle Opera performance comprising Thomas Arne, The Cooper (ed. Joseph Horovitz) and Humphrey Searle, Diary of a Madman (with photographs and press comments).

- Morley College, Emma Cons Hall
24 March 1959: with Michael Jones (violin) and Derek Simpson (cello), including the first performance of Harry Samuel, Sequence for Orchestra Op. 1 and the first London performance of Searle, Symphony No. 2.
23 May 1961: including the first London performance of Searle, Symphony No. 3 (with brief historical and descriptive notes).
Both concerts were given by the Morley College Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lawrence Leonard and both programmes carry historical and descriptive notes.

- Royal Albert Hall/Henry Wood Promenade Concerts
7 August 1959: (65th season) given by the London Symphony Orchestra with Daniel Wayenberg (piano), conducted by Basil Cameron.
31 August 1966: (73rd season), given by the New Philharmonia Orchestra with Konstanty Kulka (violin) and Gerald English (tenor), conducted by Norman del Mar and including the first performance of Searle, Oxus: Scena for tenor and orchestra (with words, historical and descriptive notes by Joan Chissel and Humphrey Searle, biographical notes and a list of the orchestral ensemble).

- Royal College of Music, Recital Hall
18 October [1983]: Royal College of Music Students' Association, Contemporary Music Society Concert (with words and brief descriptive notes).

- Royal Festival Hall
6 February 1959: Hoffnung Interplanetary Music Festival 1958, being 'an extravagant evening of symphonic caricature devised by Gerard Hoffnung, aided and abetted by John Amis, Malcolm Arnold, Ernest Bean, Colin Graham, Ian Hunter, Lawrence Leonard, David McBain, Humphrey Searle and Eric Thompson, with Dame Edith Evans, the Hoffnung Festival Opera Company and Chorus, the Hoffnung (alias Morley College) Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Norman del Mar, the Band and Trumpeters of the Royal Military School of Music and the Dolmetsch Ensemble' (with biographical, historical and descriptive notes and caricatures of the composers and performers). The concert included world premieres of pieces by Francis Baines, Joseph Horovitz, Elizabeth Poston, Francis Chagrin, Malcolm Arnold, Matyas Seiber, P. Racince Fricker and Bruno Heinz Jaja. Also, the first British performance of a piece by Copland.

- [Royal Opera House, Covent Garden]
[no date]: Searle, Noctambules (fragment).

- Sadler's Wells Theatre
April 1960: including a New Opera Company production of Searle, The Diary of a Madman (first British staged performance) (monthly programme).
5 and 8 July and 6, 7 and 9 July 1960: Hercules and Radamisto given by the Handel Opera Society with the Philomusica of London and the Chandos Chorus, conducted by Charles Farncombe (handbill).

- St. James's Church, Piccadilly
18 November 1959: Elizabethan Singers concert no.2, conducted by Louis Halsey with Helen Harley, Christine Auger, John Whitworth, Roger Norrington and John Shirley-Quirk (vocal) and Alan Harverson (organ), including the first concert performances of Malcolm Williamson, Organ Solos and Anthony Milner, Festival Anthem for St. Cecilia's Day. Also, the first London concert performance of Edmund Rubbra, Missa a Tre.

- Wigmore Hall
23 September 1959: Philomusica of London with Helen Watts (alto) and Osian Ellis (harp), conducted by Norman del Mar, including the first London performance of Searle, Poem for 22 Strings (with historical and descriptive notes by Thurston Dart, Searle and Brian Priestman and a list of the orchestral ensemble).

- [no venue]
25 March [1986]: BBC Chamber Orchestral Concert given in cooperation with the London Contemporary Music Group, with Alan Loveday (violin), Kyla Greenbaum, Geraldine Pippin and Mary Pippin (piano) and the London Classical Orchestra, conducted by Trevor Harvey, including: Denis Apivor, Violin Concerto (first performance); Searle, Poem for 22 Strings and P. Racine Fricker, Concertante for 3 Pianos, Strings and Timpani, op. 15 (first London performances) (with brief descriptive notes).

2. Other venues in the United Kingdom
- Edinburgh, King's Theatre
30 March 1971: Scottish Theatre Ballet (weekly programme).

- Edinburgh, Usher Hall
3 September 1960: Musica Viva!, given by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with Helga Pilarczyk (vocal) and conducted by John Pritchard as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, including the 'world premiere' of Searle, Symphony No. 3, op. 36 (with historical and descriptive notes, biographical notes and a list of the orchestral ensemble). The collection also includes a prospectus for the Edinburgh International Festival of 1960.

- Liverpool, Philharmonic Hall
29 September 1959: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society/Orchestra 2nd Subscription Concert, with Clifford Curzon (piano), conducted by John Pritchard (with extensive descriptive notes, biographical notes with photographs and a list of the orchestral ensemble).

- Margate, Theatre Royal
30 June 1959: One to Another, a new lyric featuring Beryl Reid and Patrick Wymark.

- Winchester, New Hall, Winchester College
20 March 1982: School Concert, including the world premiere of Searle, A Winchester Overture (commissioned for the 6th centenary of Winchester College) (with words, historical and descriptive notes and lists of the orchestral and choral ensembles).

3. European venues
- Frankfurt am Main, Städtische Bühnen
3 June 1964: premiere of Humphrey Searle, Das Photo des Colonel (with programme notes, including reproductions of handwritten notes by Searle, and biographical notes with photographs).

- Vienna, Mozart-Saal
13 October 1969: British Week in Vienna concert no.1, given by the Purcell Consort of Voices (with wordbook and introductory notes). The collection also includes a programme (with notes) for the performance given by the Vesuvius Ensemble of London on 15 October 1969 as part of the same event, for which no venue is listed.

4. American venues
- Los Angeles, University of Southern California: Bovard Auditorium
20 May [1977]: Conductors Orchestra (single-sheet programme, with a list of the 'Personnel, 2 copies).

- Los Angeles, University of Southern California: Hancock Auditorium
19 November 1976: Faculty Composers Concert, including: Frederick Lesemann, Paradiso XXI (first performance); Halsey Stevens, Sonata for Oboe and Piano (first performance); and Searle, Les Fleurs du Mal (first US performance) (with words and brief historical and descriptive notes, 2 copies).
17 February 1977: An Evening of Contemporary Music given by the National Association of Composers/USA
13 April 1977 : Faculty Composers Concert, including the first US performance of Searle, Five (with notes, contributed by the composers concerned).

- Los Angeles, University of Southern California: Leo S. Bing Theatre
7 March 1977: Southern California Chamber Music Society Monday Evening Concerts no. 9, given by ensembles from the University of Southern California, including the world premiere of Robert Linn, Twelve, and the Los Angeles premiere of Searle, Sinfonietta (with separate notes).
27 March 1977: Eudice Shapiro (violin) and Brooks Smith (piano), including the 'West Coast Premiere' of Searle, Three Romantic Pieces (with programme notes and biographical notes).

- [Louisiana]
14 and 16 October [no year]: two performances, the first featuring the Louisiana State University Symphony Orchestra and including the first US performance of Searle, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra Op. 5 (single document).

- San Francisco, 321 Divisadero
4 April 1965: Concert of New Music presented by The Composers' Forum, the Northern California Chapter of the International Society for Contemporary Music (with words).

- San Francisco, War Memorial Opera House
26-28 January 1966: San Francisco Symphony Orchestra concert no. 7 (54th season), with Jacob Krachmalnick (violin), conducted by Josef Krips (with historical and analytical notes by Edward Lawton, biographical notes with photographs and a list of the orchestral ensemble).

- Santa Barbara, University of California Santa Barbara: Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall
14 May 1977: University of California Santa Barbara Schubertians and Men's Chorus, UCSB Women's Chorus and the UCSB Symphony Orchestra, including the world premiere of Searle, Kubla Kahn, op. 60 (with words and historical and descriptive notes).

- Stanford, Stanford University: Memorial Church
7 March 1965: Concert of Organ and Choral Music in Commemoration of Founders' Day, given by the Stanford Chorale and members of the Stanford Chamber Orchestra with Herbert Nanney (University Organist) (with words and brief historical notes, 2 copies).

- Stanford, [Stanford University]
[no date]: Stanford University Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, including the American premiere of Searle, Symphony No. 5 (with extended notes by Searle and lists of the choral and orchestral ensembles).
Date range of collection
1959 - 1986
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated People or Organisations

Location Details

British Library, Music Collections
96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB
Open Map
020 7412 7772
020 7412 7751
Visiting Information
Reprographic services
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For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

Additional Collection Information

Accrual Status
Related Publications
Management Information (Type)
Collection Owner(s)
Collection Creator(s)
Collection Collector(s)
Collection Custodians(s)
Associated Collection(s)
Cardif University (Prifysgol Caerdydd)Royal College of Music LondonMuseums, Libraries and Archives Council